because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

True Story

Because  I ruffle
more easily than the turtle,
I’m spending today’s sunshine
picking my teeth
with the leftover shards
of yesterday’s poem,
flossing out
any subtext I
might have missed
when that
naked guy waded
over to hear my
verse-in-progress and sent
thought’s rumbling
boxcar right
over the side
and into the

(The heavy-eyed reptile didn’t
so much as blink,
at his unsubtle
nor at my muttered
reading. I
don’t blame him;
the poem wasn’t
half yet done.)

26 responses

  1. Do you know, I searched my whole photo library but found not a single turtle? Geese, check. Ducks, check. Squirrels, foxes, herons, fish, horses, deer. Sea lions. Iguanas. Alligators. Check and check. Even buffalo and bald eagles. My brother in antlers. Rabbit statuary. But not a single goddamn turtle.

    May 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm

  2. That was … brilliant!

    May 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm

  3. Very nicely done, and most enjoyable. Thanks for it.

    May 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm

  4. Oooh, I love this and your writing style! You have a nice blog setup too, and I love your tag line. I shall be visiting more often. Love.

    May 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    • Kristina, you’re too kind. Thanks for stopping in and dropping me a line. You’re definitely welcome back any time!

      May 18, 2011 at 11:39 am

  5. I liked this one a bunch. “picking my teeth
    with the leftover shards
    of yesterday’s poem” Love it.

    May 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    • Randy, while I am slightly wary of your profile nic, I’m very curious to go check out some of your own writings. I much appreciate your kind comment. That was the line that inspired the whole poem. 🙂

      May 18, 2011 at 11:43 am

  6. well now…i could see where that might be a bit of a distraction…lol

    May 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm

  7. moondustwriter

    Ha – gotta try picking my teeth with yesterday’s shards
    might inspire me!!!

    thanks for sharing this with One Shot

    May 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    • Leslie, it’s my pleasure, as always. Thanks to you guys for putting it all together. Glad you liked this. 🙂

      May 18, 2011 at 11:37 am

  8. Nicely done!

    May 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm

  9. This is an excellent piece. I can identify so easily with this in some manner. I thought the photo was an intentional mystery until I saw your comment, but I love the photo too.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    • Carl, what? You have naked guys coming up to you while you write too? And here I thought it was a pretty singular experience, lol.

      And the photo– yeah, when I couldn’t find a turtle this was for some reason an obvious second choice. Not sure exactly, but the “in-your-face-ness” of this goose just somehow seemed appropriate to the theme…

      Thanks for stopping by; always appreciate one of your visits.

      May 18, 2011 at 11:36 am

  10. This is a new addition to my favorite poems of yours! I love every line of it!

    May 17, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    • wow! thanks, Annmarie. High praise indeed, from you. I’ll be sure to include it when ever I put together my “Joanna’s Greatest Hits” album. 😉

      May 18, 2011 at 11:31 am

  11. amusing reflection of the creative process

    May 18, 2011 at 2:19 am

  12. Very entertaining and creative =)

    May 18, 2011 at 5:39 am

  13. Interesting piece… love how you have drawn yesterday’s readers into this piece, they have become a linking part of your words.

    May 18, 2011 at 9:14 am

  14. you are cracking me up. good one!

    May 18, 2011 at 10:55 am

  15. Thanks, everybody, for your kind comments. Humorous stuff is kinda rare for me– glad it seemed to make y’all smile.

    Sparkles, Lori– appreciate it. I admit that every time I open this page and am faced with that goose staring at me front & center, it cracks me up too. (Eh, it’s the little things in life, I guess.)

    Peter, brian, ayala– much thanks for your thoughts, as ever. Always appreciate the visit.

    john, misery, Reflections– thanks for stopping by; you’re welcome to drop in any time!

    Cheers, all 🙂

    May 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

  16. Joanna I really like this too. You are very creative with your words and I look forward to reading/hearing more from you.


    May 19, 2011 at 10:40 am

    • thanks, Larie! you are such a sweetheart, and it was great hearing some of your poetry Thursday night! 🙂

      May 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

  17. Glad to find you through One Shot, I loved the imagery you evoke here. Fantastic write ~ Rose

    May 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm

  18. Excellent poem.
    I hope the turtle apologised for interrupting your creative flow. lol

    May 21, 2011 at 4:29 am

  19. Well, that was a trip and a half. Reading through the poem about 4 times, it finally occurred to me that the story you tell is very subtle in terms of ramming home (hahahaha) the point of a an elongated encounter with the easily aroused. Very apt metaphor (or at least I hope its a metaphor… if not I suppose beware of naked dudes @ poetry readings.) Reads marvelously as always, hope all is well & talk to you soon. Take care,


    May 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

  20. Rose, likewise about the One Shot; it’s such a great way to connect.

    Richard, lol. If an apology would have prolonged the experience, I’m glad he didn’t!

    crb– People often give my imagination more credit than it deserves; I tend to write more literally than some would think. As is the case here. No metaphor, sadly. All too real. :O (Not to scare you away from Richmond, or anything…)


    May 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm


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